BEIJING, Sept. 2 -- China will showcase five new
types of domestically designed missiles at the Oct. 1 National Day parade, a
leading missile expert from the Second Artillery Force, revealed Tuesday.
A number of advanced weapons of air and sea forces
will also be on display, other sources said.
Five types of missiles, including nuclear
intercontinental ballistic missiles, conventional cruise missiles and
medium-range and short-range conventional missiles, will be displayed for the
first time at the highly anticipated military parade, said the expert, who asked
to remain anonymous and has been closely following the preparations of the
strategic force of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
"These missiles are domestically designed and
manufactured and have never been officially reported before," he said, adding
that they belong to a second generation of missiles that have already been
distributed to the military and are ready for operation.
He declined to disclose the model numbers of the
missiles, citing state-secrecy reasons.
"The third generation is still under development and
is unlikely to be displayed this time," he said.
Military aficionados have been expecting to see the
Dongfeng 41, known as the DF-41, and the CSS-X-10, which is said to be a
third-generation, solid-fuel, intercontinental ballistic missile.
While China is a late starter in the milssile
development, compared with the US and Russia – countries equipped with
fifth-generation missiles and in the process of developing sixth-generation
missiles – it has made rapid progress, the expert said.
"Our second generation can match their third and
fourth generations, and the third generation under development is comparable to
their fifth and sixth generations," he said.
Progress made by the Second Artillery Force in the
decade since the last military parade in 1999 will be highlighted at the Oct. 1
event, with marching soldiers and vehicles carrying missiles, three for every
"The force has created weaponry and equipment with
nuclear and conventional missiles, both solid-fuel and liquid-fuel missiles,
with different launching ranges, quick emergency response and precision
strikes," he said.
The Second Artillery Force is a strategic unit under
the direct command and control of the Central Military Commission, and the core
force of China for strategic deterrence, according to a white paper entitled
"China's National Defense in 2008," issued earlier this year by the Information
Office of the State Council.
One of the force's responsibilities is "conducting
nuclear counterattacks," the paper said.
"The statement indicates that the force can survive a
nuclear attack before carrying out a counterattack. Any country that attempts to
attack China with nuclear weapons must get ready for revenge, even if it has an
anti-missile system," the expert said, adding that China's nuclear missiles,
though few in number, have a high strike accuracy and formidable power.
A new submarine-launched ballistic missile, Julang 2,
also known as JL-2 and CSS-NX-4, is also highly anticipated by fans of military
hardware to make an appearance at the parade. It is said to have a maximum range
of 8,000 kilometers and be designed to be installed onboard current and
next-generation Chinese nuclear-powered submarines.
Li Jie, a naval expert, didn't exclude the
possibility of Julang-2's appearance on Oct. 1. Li told the Global Times that
the navy would showcase some types of ship-to-ship missile, ship-to-air missile
and multiple rocket launchers at the parade.
"Maybe two to three of them will be unveiled for the
first time," Li said. "The new weapons will help enhance the navy's combat
capability in any future sea war."
Dai Xu, an air force colonel and military strategist,
told the Global Times that a large part of the weaponry and equipment of the air
force would be showcased at the parade, including third-generation warplanes,
land-to-air missiles and sophisticated radar equipment.
"The backbone warplanes of the major military powers
in the world are third generation. The qualities of some of our warplanes are at
a level that is advanced in terms of the rest of the world," Dai said.
Li Daguang, a senior military expert at the PLA
University of National Defense, emphasized that the military parade is not for
saber rattling but aims to promote national pride, confidence and awareness of
"Some countries, observing China's parade with
colored glasses, show off their weapons around the world on the battlefield
instead," Li said.
Li Jie argued that the parade can reflect the current
situation and tendency of China's military weaponry, as well as a way of showing
China's military openness and transparency, and how it is aligned with
international military standards.
According to the arrangement, President Hu Jintao
will offer a keynote address at the huge celebration at Tian'anmen Square on
Oct. 1, followed by the military parade and a mass pageant involving 200,000
people, 60 floats and a fireworks display.
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(Source: Global Times )